Millbrook – the vehicle test and validation services provider – recently underlined the versatility of its facilities, as it helped a father-daughter marathon duo prepare for endurance races and events in near-arctic conditions.

Stephan and Chloe Couture are a unique duo, competing in multiple endurance events where Stephan carries, pushes, or pulls Chloe – who has cerebral palsy and a visual impairment – around the course in specialised equipment. Ahead of challenging winter events across Europe, they had to test all equipment and attire to ensure that it would stand up to the extreme conditions and potentially sub-zero temperatures expected.

Millbrook usually uses its climatic chamber – which can create conditions from -30°C to +50°C – for testing and development programmes on vehicles, but it gave Stephan and Chloe exclusive access so they could experience the coldest temperatures they are likely to experience when competing. This was particularly important for testing Chloe’s attire, which includes specialist, self-heating items that would need to hold up during sustained use in extreme conditions.

We experience such a wide range of barriers with what we do; so many people don't understand what I'm trying to achieve and don't allow any flexibility to the red tape that restricts us. That wasn't the case with Millbrook though, and the team did everything they could to support us.

Stephan Couture

Ladybugs Trust

Having founded the Ladybugs Trust to support other families with young children and adolescents with disabilities, Stephan and Chloe take part in events such as triathlons, half marathons and full marathons. They are targeting a number of events across Europe in the coming months, including winter events in Iceland and Poland.


This story was written by automotive PR specialists Torque Agency Group.